Issue #801 March 18, 2014
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- Costco Might Sell Your Book If…
- Reliable Sources Reporters Use
- Facebook “Tips” That Don’t Work
- Hound Video of the Week
This Weekend in the Hound House:
When I saw Garrison Keillor in Milwaukee about 10 years ago, he uttered a line I still remember, and it’s especially pertinent right now: “That’s why God created the month of March: to show people who don’t drink what a hangover feels like.”
1. Costco Might Sell Your Book If…
When it comes to choosing a limited number of titles for coveted table space its book section, what Costco wants, Costco usually gets.
Authors lucky enough to be chosen must agree to sell their books at a 55 percent discount, minimum.
As painful as that sounds, work the numbers. If you sell 200 books yourself at the full retail price of $19.95, you’ve made almost $4,000. But if you sell 1,000 books at 10.97 each, that’s $10,970.
How long would it take you to sell 1,000 books on your own? How long do you think it would take a big chain like Costco to sell 1,000 of your books?
Agreeing to a deep discount is one of several important factors in convincing the big chain stores to carry your title.
You also must do your homework before approaching the stores. That means walking the aisles to see what they’re already selling, talking to the people who buy the books, and creating an attractive book marketing package that makes it easy for them to know immediately what your book is about and why people would want to buy it.
Amy Collins of New Shelves Distribution sells books to the big chains five days a week. Even though these stores favor books from major publishers, indie authors can claim their share of shelf space. Amy will be my guest on a webinar at noon Eastern Time on Thursday, March 20, on “How to Convince Costco, Walmart, Target & Other Huge Chains to Sell Your Books.” Everyone who registers will get a peek at Amy’s Rolodex, and access to her contact information for the big chains.
Register even if you can’t attend live because I’m recording it and you’ll be able to watch the video replay.
Some of the other tips she will be sharing are at my blog. See “5 tips for getting fiction or nonfiction books into Costco, Walmart, Target.”
2. Reliable Sources Reporters Use
You’re writing a press release, a pitch, an article or a blog post, and you need a statistic to give your topic perspective.
If you simply “Google it,” you risk using inaccurate information and being embarrassed publicly when someone calls you on it.
Use the same reliable sources reporters use, like the U.S. Census Bureau, New England Journal of Medicine and the Pew Research Center.
Business journalist Michelle Rafter has compiled a list of reliable sources at her blog.
3. Facebook “Tips” That Don’t Work
If you’re using an autoposting tool to publish one piece of content to multiple social media sites, you’re saving yourself a lot of time but robbing yourself of a lot of readers.
Syncing up your Twitter and Facebook accounts, for example, was all the rage a few years ago. Here’s the problem, however. People who follow you on Facebook might be very different from people who follow you on Twitter. If they follow you on both sites, you’re giving them reshashed content.
Also, your Facebook page will have lots of posts that look like tweets. They don’t display links and photos the same way because they’re pulled from Twitter. Facebook has said it hates this so much that it actually devalues this type of content which means it goes into the news feeds of fewer people.
Auto-posting is one of 7 “tips” and “tricks” that don’t work anymore. Read about them all on Hubspot’s blog.
4. Hound Video of the Week
Thanks to Publicity Hound Jacqueline Simonds, aka @jcsimonds on Twitter, for sharing this fun video of dogs enjoying snowboards, skateboards and boogie boards.